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Displaying Desktop Wallpaper on Windows 7 Starter Edition

K.Vee.Shanker. from India writes:

The option for displaying desktop wallpaper is absent in Windows 7 starter. Is there any way I can still display wallpapers in my system?

There are six different editions of Windows 7 currently available, though not all versions are available for retail sale. Although most editions of Windows 7 offer many of the same features, Windows 7 Starter is a barebones version of the OS that may be too limited for some users.

Windows 7 Starter is typically only found on netbooks and smaller laptop computers. The mindset behind the starter edition is that it offers a low-cost option for manufacturers to preinstall on netbooks, which are computers specifically designed for Internet browsing, word processing and other basic tasks. These computers have less powerful processors and may not come with as much memory as more powerful computers. Because Windows 7 Starter is less feature-rich and requires less memory and processing speed, it is a perfect match for these computers.

What’s Missing from Windows 7 Starter Edition

One of the main differences users will notice when using Windows 7 Starter Edition is that the desktop graphic is not modifiable. Users are stuck with the Windows logo that comes with the program. Although this is not the only limitation of Windows 7 Starter, it is one that many people may lament since the ability to customize colors and backgrounds has been around for so long.

Windows 7 Starter does not support the use of multiple monitors, either, so users must rely on the laptop screen alone. Some users may consider this a huge inconvenience, since netbook screens are often quite small. DVD playback is also not allowed on Windows 7 Starter, so users cannot use their netbooks or small laptops as portable DVD players. Additionally, Windows 7 Starter users cannot watch recorded TV or stream media from a home computer via Remote Media Streaming.

Alternatives to Windows 7 Starter Edition

There are a couple of options for those who are not happy with the limitations imposed by Windows 7 Starter. Which option you choose will depend on exactly why you’re unhappy with the OS. Users who want the ability to watch DVDs, stream media or connect to larger monitors should upgrade to a more powerful edition of Windows 7, such as Home Premium, Home Basic or Professional. Users who want to upgrade to a different version of Windows 7 can do so using the Anytime Upgrade program available through Microsoft’s website.

Before purchasing an upgrade, Windows 7 Starter users should confirm that their computers can handle a more powerful edition. Some Windows 7 editions are 64-bit and require more processing power and memory, which may slow down netbooks and smaller, inexpensive laptops.

For users who are okay with the limitations of Windows 7 Starter, but who want the ability to customize their desktop, there is at least one plug-in available online. Since the plug-in was not developed by Microsoft, there is no guarantee that it will work and won’t cause any other problems with your operating system, but downloading a plug-in may be an option if you just want to customize your desktop. You can find the plug-in by searching Google for “how to change the desktop in Windows 7 Starter”.

Be warned though: the downloads you find are not authorized by Microsoft and may contain viruses, so do this at your own risk!

Hope that helps!

~Chad Stetson